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random babbling about chocolate bars
January 28, 2005
4:59 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Here we go.

January 28, 2005
5:03 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
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Originally posted by chocbloc in Chocolate Bars - Michel Cluizel Maralumi thread:

I have tried a little bit of mine. I ordered so much that I have had to nibble a little bit of several instead of just going through one at a time. Anyway, I like it. I have that and the Los Ancones from Cluizel. I also tried their 99%, but I quickly learned that those bars are not for me. I find Cluizel and Domori very fruity. I have a couple of the Pralus, which I like but not as much as some of the other stuff I have. I just recently got some bars from this site that I couldn't get through Chocosphere, so I am excited about trying all of them. So far, I really like the Pierre Marcolini 85% Grand Cru Fleur de Cacao. I'm suspicious about this being an 85% though. It tastes much sweeter than that. Not bitter at all.

Mike (restin' on my laurels and my hardys too)

January 28, 2005
5:25 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
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Well, choc, are you in for a shock? There is perhaps another 85% that is even milder than Marcolini's, and that is the 85% bar produced by Venchi. One taste, and you'll think it's a lie. Although it's not a great chocolate (just merely okay), I had to purchase multiple bars to confirm my initial tastes. It is quite possible to produce extremely mild high cocoa content bars, and that's by selecting milder beans with a minimum level of bitterness. For example, could anyone imagine an unsweetened Porcelana or an unsweetened Maracaibo chocolate? These are ideal beans to use, as they would still deliver a decent chocolate strength while keeping the bitterness at bay, yet still possessing excellent flavor, which would therefore be magnified to its fullest capacity.

I suspect your disliking of Noir Infini is due to lack of acclimation and to previous exposure to bars of considerably less cocoa content, and overall intensity, respectively. I note that you've recently been eating Maralumi, Los Ancones, and Fleur de Cacao, chocolates which are not exactly known for their strength impact but for their complex flavor profiles. Noir Infini, imo, is all about impact and overall chocolatiness, whereas the other bars are essentially "flavor cacao," bars whose beans are already reasonaly mild but full of flavor. Now, don't get me wrong, it's certainly possible to have an intense AND complex chocolate (Chuao being the definitive example), but one has to clearly distinguish between his/her preferences and desires in a chocolate.

Which Pralus have you been eating, btw? I notice that you're not too fond of Pralus that much, and that certainly is understandable because his style is definitely one that might take some adjusting to. He has a decidely dark tone, which is extremely characteristic of a dark roast. My introduction to Pralus was Java, and man was I floored. Java is already an intensely flavored chocolate, and coupled with Pralus' style, the combination surprised me quite a bit.

January 28, 2005
9:41 pm
chocbloc
laurel, USA
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Actually, Monte, I would love to find a 99 or 100% that I like because diabetes runs in my family and I may have to eat those exclusively at some point. I have heard of other ones (I think Domori Puro and Slitti) that are very palatable, but I think I will wait to try another one.

As for the Pralus, while it is true that there are other bars that I prefer to those, I do still like them. They just have a different taste and texture. In other words, if I could only eat one or two bars I would pick other ones (Ampamakia, the Marcolini I mentioned, etc). Fortunately, that isn't the case so I will continue to eat Pralus as well. The first one I got was Sao Tome, but I then got the Indonesia at your suggestion. I did like that one better. I will probably try the Columbia or Java next. Another bar that I recently got, which I really liked, is Artisan du Chocolate (Samara).

What I really like is that there are many really good bars, each with different qualities. There isn't just one type or taste that I want to eat to the exclusion of the rest. I have seen comments from some people who only want to eat 99 or 100%s. I would only do that if absolutely necessary, and then only if I could find one I really liked.

Mike (restin' on my laurels and my hardys too)

Mike (restin' on my laurels and my hardys too)
January 29, 2005
2:14 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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If you're concerned about sugar content in chocolate, then perhaps you should check out Venchi's sugar free line. Slitti's unsweetened is certainly the most palatable of the 100% class, and I recommend it to you. Also, as I suggested in another thread, which I've a posted a link to below, try Domori's 80% bars because they're sweetened with fructose. Although these bars are included in a $100 San Jose box set, the set also includes some unsweetened bars, in addition to some 60%s and 70%s. Might be worth a look into. Here's the link:

http://www.seventypercent.com/.....hichpage=3

Also, give Venchi's 85% a whirl, as it is low in sugar and actually quite mild.

The Pralus Indonesia is indeed a good bar, and it's good you enjoy it. I don't know how you'll like the Java bar, though. It certainly is an eye opener.

I agree with your sentitments regarding which chocolate you want to eat. Again, in another thread, I discussed how I usually get in moods for certain chocolates. Read here if interested:

http://www.seventypercent.com/.....Terms=mood

Eating unsweetened chocolate exclusively can get a bit monotonous and banal, as the variety offered isn't exactly as extensive as other percentages. Perhaps from a health perspective would it make more sense to consume them in this manner, but I'm not going to worry about a mere 30g or so of sugar per bar. Everything is healthy in moderation, and remember that it's not particularly physical health that this is limited to, but mental health is also an integral part to overall health.

January 29, 2005
10:48 am
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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Mmm, interesting taste differences! Personally I think the Venchi 85% is rather an average chocolate, made by a semi-industrial producer. I would say this a world away from the Marcolini 85%, which is smooth and clear and not at all 'difficult' - and most people would never know it is as strong as 85%. But then I am not a 100% aficionado, so perhaps I am not best qualified to say.

You might like to also try the Bonnat 100%, which is quite clean, but still too much for me really. After Domori Ocumare 61 100%, nothing will ever match it I think.

Martin Christy
Editor
http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
January 29, 2005
4:39 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Do you mean Venchi's 85% is average in strength for its cocoa content or an average overall bar?

January 29, 2005
8:06 pm
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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An average bar! I know some of you like the intensity in this kind of chocolate (ok, once in a while do.) I can appreciate that, but I just don't think the bean quality is that high, or the treatment. It's a goodish industrial bar, like Galler or even Lindt. Not in the same league even as Cluizel's 85%, imho.

Martin Christy
Editor
http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
January 30, 2005
5:20 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Well, even for an 85%, Venchi's bar is extremely mild. The color is also a deep black, with a very noncomplex flavor. I'm assuming that the beans used for it were not top quality or that they were Dutched. Or perhaps a combination of the two. With such a weak flavor, this one can easily go up to 100%, and indeed I would like to see Venchi experiment with this. Galler's is much more interesting, imo, with a sweet and spicy flavor throughout, but it has a rough finish with a slight bitterness not unlike their 70%. This gives it more character, but not particularly one I would call desirable. The last time I tried Cluizel's 85%, I detected a bit of flatness, but I need to re-taste it. Luckily, I have some squares.

Martin, did you ever get around to trying Valrhona's 85%? Although it's pretty awful, you have to try it to see just how badly they failed to match roasting time with bean selection. It's one of those bars that's so uniquely bad, you can't afford to miss it, imo. This is indeed the exemplar of inappropriately matched bean selection and roasting time. On a different note, though, one of my favorite 80% class bars is Castelain 85%, which I've discussed in another thread. Intense, strong, pure cocoa flavor throughout without any bitterness. Great bar. Highly recommended to anyone who likes intensity.

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